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Negotiating a rocky coastline, braving the rough surf of the Indian Ocean, hoping to catch a strong wind.
These are some of the challenges two kite-surfing enthusiasts expect to face next month when they take to southern Africa’s east coast, journeying 430km from Ponto do Ouro, Mozambique, down to Durban in the Unlimited Kitesurfing Expedition.
Durbanites Zack Buchan, 36, and Ross Walters, 35, will start their adventure on August 13.
The trip has been timed to coincide with the prevailing north-easterly winds along the northern KwaZulu-Natal coastline at this time of year, but an unexpected cold front hitting the coast could be problematic as driving south-westerly head winds would severely hamper their efforts.
Despite all these factors the kite surfers were very excited at taking to the sea.
“It is going to be amazing – I just can’t wait to get it started,” said Buchan.
Buchan said the idea was born while he was on an adventure in the South Pole in January.
“It was -40ºC and we were heading south in the most brutal environment on earth. When we got back to our base at Union Glacier, two guys came in. They told us how they had just ‘kited’ across Antarctica via the Pole.”
“As an ex-kite surfer with a newly discovered thirst for adventure, (my interest was piqued). An idea ignited and by the time we got back to Durban, it was just a case of organising (what I had had in mind).”
Buchan approached Walters, one of his oldest and closest friends. “He’s a “make-a-plan” kind of guy who’s done it all from hang gliding cross-country, to river gliding, to farming alone in remotest Zimbabwe. He’s also a passionate kite surfer.”
“It took just shy of 10 seconds and a sip of beer to get Ross on board,” he said.
The pair were finalising gear tests and taking care of the last of the logistics.
They plan to kite for up to eight hours each day, covering between 70 and 100km, depending on the weather.
Safety is a priority and a support crew will be following the team from the land with GPS trackers.